Saturday, April 21, 2018

Sunrise Over Goat Island

This month the weather has been a mix of sun, clouds, wind, rain, and even some hail. Is this really spring?


Recently I was up early enough to be rewarded with a beautiful sunrise over Goat Island. In winter, the sun moves far to the south across the bay from our float cabin home.


During spring, the sun starts to climb up the side of nearby Goat Island until it crests the top in summer.


There's nothing like a sunny start to a nice, warm spring day.


Now I can get out and continue planting my float garden and deck pots. Is spring late in coming to your area?

Today is Sky Watch Friday. Go to the Sky Watch Friday website and you'll see sky photos from all over the world!

A new meme is All Seasons. Stop by and take a look. -- Margy


Thursday, April 19, 2018

3 FREE Kindle e-Books from April 20-24

As a special thank you to all of our blog readers, here are three Kindle e-Books just for you.

Pick one or all, they're FREE
from April 20-24

and you don't have to own a Kindle to enjoy them. Just get a free Kindle app for your smartphone, pad or computer. 

Check here if you need a free Kindle App.



Flying the 
Pacific Northwest

Description: Airports of Western Washington and Oregon form the backdrop for adventures in the Pacific Northwest. Take the controls of a Piper Arrow, as your personal flight instructor leads you to out-of-the-way spots. For armchair pilots and experienced pros, this book is an escape so realistic you’ll swear you’re airborne.

Click here for your FREE copy of Flying the Pacific Northwest.




Up the Inlet

Description: Come boating up the inlets of coastal British Columbia, where the mountains drop into the sea, and lifestyles focus on self-assurance and a different sense of purpose. Follow along as we cruise northward from the Strait of Georgia, to Cortes and Quadra Islands, and beyond.

Click here for your FREE copy of Up the Inlet.




http://www.amazon.com/Across-Galactic-Sea-Wayne-Lutz-ebook/dp/B00AR6AOLCAcross the Galactic Sea

Description: Spaceship Challenger is on mankind’s first galactic voyage using a high-tech blend of space jumps and cryogenic hibernation. Captain Tina Brett leads her ship towards the ultimate goal, first contact with alien intelligence, until a navigational glitch changes everything. Then there's a mutiny, or is it something more? Six individuals on an epic journey for the good of mankind.

Click here for your
FREE copy of Across the Galactic Sea


Happy reading from Wayne and Margy
www.PowellRiverBooks.com

Monday, April 16, 2018

Float Cabin Living: How do you stay warm?

Our Kozi brand woodstove.
If you are following this series, you've already read about our weather and storms.

Wayne and I couldn't live up the lake in all seasons without a way to keep our home warm.

Nights are longer and temperatures cool by late September.  What most people call winter weather begins in earnest by late October. From then until May (sometimes early June) we need heat.


A rare snowy day.
Our solution is old fashioned wood combustion in our Kozi wood-burning stove. It came with our cabin and has served us well.

To burn wood, you have to gather and process wood.



Gathering floating wood.
Floating wood comes right to our doorstep when the lake level rises. We also use our barge to gather wood to cut and stack.

Our friend John built a floating woodshed for us. Wood is very heavy and you don't want it to weight down the cabin's main deck.

Processing wood for the woodshed.
Wayne learned to use a chainsaw to cut log chunks into stove lengths, then we used an ax and sledge hammer to split the larger pieces.

That is until I got an electric log splitter for my birthday.





Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but off the grid labour saving devices are more appreciated. Below are some links for more information about heating our cabin home.

Woodstove cooking.
Stocking the woodpile.
Chainsaw maintenance.
Rotating chimney cap.
Chimney maintenance. 
Indoor storage shelf.
Woodstove refinishing.
Woodstove cooking.
Woodstove baking.

Come on in, sit by the fire and get Kozi warm.



How do you keep yourself warm and toasty on long winter nights?

Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad. -- Margy

Friday, April 06, 2018

Yvonne Maximchuk Presents: Memoir Writing Workshop May 9 and 11

Heart to Heart ~ Writing Your Story

Author, Yvonne Maximchuk
Have you wanted to write your memoir or the story of your life to leave for the family, maybe even to publish to the world at large?

Author and artist Yvonne Maximchuk shares the first steps on the long journey of turning your memories into words on paper.

In two, 2-hour long sessions, participants will acquire all the tools necessary to get started on this fulfilling enterprise.

When ~ Wednesday May 9, 9:30-11:30 and
Friday May 11, 9:30-11:30

Where ~ Soroptimist Room, Filberg Centre
411 Anderton Ave, Courtenay BC

Cost ~ $95.00 in advance. (Sorry, no drop-ins)
Limited to 15 participants

Pre-registration required ~ Phone Yvonne at 250-974-8134 or email searosestudio@hotmail.com (Not the Filberg Center)


Let the power of the group help you move forward swiftly by arriving prepared to engage in short writing exercises. Bring your computer or paper and pen or pencil, your notes and ideas. Bring as well, a willingness to share your own words and offer respectful comment to others, in a mutually supportive atmosphere. -- Yvonne

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Float Cabin Living: The Series

Wayne and I purchased our float cabin home in 2001 while on a flying camping trip that landed us in Powell River, British Columbia.  That camping trip brought us to a new Canadian home on Powell Lake. It also brought us to life in a new country when we became Canadian Permanent Residents in 2008 and citizenship applicants in 2017.

Wayne and I were both raised in the city and lived in the Los Angeles area. Moving to the small town of Powell River was a big step, living in a off-the-grid float cabin was a huge leap. But it was the best thing we could have ever done.

We get lots of questions about what it's like to live in a float cabin. This series will answer some of the most frequent ones we get. 

  1. Does the cabin move around the lake?
  2. What is the weather like?
  3. What happens during storms?
  4. How do you stay warm?
  5. How do you get power away from the grid?
  6. Do you have a telephone, television and the Internet?
  7. How was your cabin built?
  8. Are there rules for living on the lake? 
  9. Can you have a garden?
  10. How can you live in such a small space?
  11. Do you have neighbours?
  12. What do you DO with all your time?

People don't always ask about the bathroom, but I'm sure they're thinking about it. And how we handle all of our waste. Most people do. I'll answer all these questions, but I won't try to do it all at once. Each week on Tuesday I'll post a new installment. Stay tuned.

If you can't wait, you can read more of my posts under the topic of Float Cabin Living in the sidebar. You can also visit the PowellRiverBooks.com website to get information about my husband Wayne's Coastal BC Stories series of books. Many include chapters about cabin life and Powell Lake.

If you have other questions, please leave them in the comments section. I always enjoy writing about our life up the lake. -- Margy

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Float Cabin Living: What is the weather like?

Wayne and I love watching the changing seasons at our float cabin. That's probably because we came from Southern California.

Here in southwest Coastal British Columbia we have moderate weather.


Summers are sunny and warm with only a few hot spells of 30°C. Fall and spring alternate between sun, clouds and rain with temperatures to the low double digits. Winter has more cloudy and rainy days with temperatures occasionally below zero and moderate snow on 10-15 days. As Canada goes, we're balmy.

An anemometer next to our wind generator.
Since weather is an integral part of our daily lives, it was natural for us to want to know more.

First we purchased an inexpensive portable weather radio. We listen to broadcasts from the Pacific Weather Centre of Environment Canada. Our weather 25 kilometres  inland varies somewhat, but it gives us a good idea about frontal passage and expected winds. When we hear the reports for Grief Point (in Powell River) and Sentry Shoal (a buoy south of Savary Island), we know what's coming.

Our manual and digital rain gauges.
Next came a digital thermometer. Then a wireless weather station by Acu-Rite that you can purchase at Walmart or other places that sell thermometers. In addition to temperature, it has a digital barometer and humidity gauge (hygrometer). A handheld anemometer gave us wind information, but you had to stand out in the gale to get a reading. (Oops, there goes Wayne off the deck. Just kidding!).

Solar-powered temperature gauge.
Finally we upgraded to an Oregon Scientific Complete Wireless Weather Station. (Eleven years later it's still going strong). It has a rain gauge, thermometer, hygrometer and an anemometer. Our probes are solar powered, the new ones require batteries unless you opt for the expensive professional model. There are also gauges for barometric pressure, indoor temperature and humidity.

The display panel inside the cabin.
The indoor display light is easy to turn on with a touch of the screen, saving batteries when electrical power is off.

The LED screen is easy to read and a memory feature lets us know what we missed while away.


US rain gauge into its new Coastal BC home.
One summer a good friend came to visit by motorcycle. And he had a big (literally) surprise for us. He used to be a fire captain. Part of his duties were to report precipitation to the U.S. National Weather Service. When the devices were retired, he got to keep two. One is now installed at our cabin.

Whether you start small like we did, or graduate to a professional station, watching the weather is fun. -- Margy

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Float Cabin Living: What happens during storms?

We love to be at our float cabin home in all seasons, so we're there for all types of weather. We are relatively safe in Hole in the Wall. The bay, promontory and nearby Goat Island protect us from the worst winds. On the open lake, especially in the area dubbed the “North Sea” just beyond First Narrows, storm winds out of the southeast can whip the water into three foot plus waves.



After storms pass, clearing northwest winds blast down First Narrows creating dangerous waves. I’ve even seen hefty workboats duck into Hole in the Wall for a brief respite. Traveling on the lake in our Hewescraft would be more dangerous than staying put.


The worst damage we've experienced is a dislodged chimney, broken anchor cables (Up the Lake Chapter 4), and a rust weakened BBQ that flew the coop leaving its legs sticking up like a dead bug. That’s not bad. Several cabins have been severely damaged.


The weight of snow on the float could be a problem. Fortunately Powell Lake’s weather is moderated by the nearby ocean. Snow typically sticks only a few days. The biggest problem we have is uncovering solar panels so we can continue to gather the limited winter sun.

Rain is the most common type of storm. If you live in a floating cabin, a little more water isn’t a problem. Thin cracks between the boards on the deck let the water run right through.



The cabin rides easily up and down on its anchor cables as the lake rises and falls from wet to dry seasons.

Additional weather videos you might enjoy include:

A Snowy Day at Hole in the Wall
Windstorm Waterspouts
Mother Nature Blowing Bubbles

So, let it storm and let it rain. We’re prepared. Are you? -- Margy